CTO patient has been called to court for an injunction by the local authority housing department (County Court) with hearsay evidence of a serious nature ie alleged attack with knife as well as anti social issues alleged, all compiled by housing officer and not substantiated by external parties and police share insufficient to progress. CTO client V was also reported to have been threatened with a hammer and spray glue.
Served with papers yesterday 1.11.23, legal rep for the housing department agree that there is realistically no time to seek advice, and the hearing is first thing Monday morning.
It is not known to them if client V has capacity and what the drugs or mental disorder has on V.
Can V have legal aid advice?
Can this be adjourned until V has suitable support to understand the matter?
Can this be taken to court with an injunction predicated on unproven hearsay statements of the City Council that is bringing the action
Usually, where a public authority is applying for a civil order against someone, they are entitled to legal advice: but it’s worth checking the paperwork which will have been served to tell them of the hearing and in any event, Citizens Advice will probably be able to advise.
Civil proceedings for things like injunctions do operate to different standards of proof and rules on the admissibility of evidence, so things like hearsay can be admissible in certain circumstances. Obviously, the counter-point argument to the admission of that evidence are things like the fact it’s hearsay and uncorroborated according to your account and that the police are not proceeding with allegations which are ultimately criminal, because of a lack of evidence. Of course, criminal allegations proceed against tests which are higher than civil proceedings, so it can be correct in theory that criminal allegations are not successful in bring a charge or conviction, but civil proceedings do still succeed.
Hence yes: legal advice required and I would have thought it would be available on legal aid if the person is obliged to deal with legal proceedings initiated by a public authority like housing.
Hope this helps.
Many thanks for this most helpful guidance.
Regarding Citizens advice, on the brief ‘chat’ I had with the council legal representative agreed that a 2/3 day window in our local area will not be sufficient to secure CAB services given their appointment only system.
I continue to seek legal advice and aid for V and again thank you for this most useful response
Best regards Judith